This is a fantastic release which is going down extremely well with clients. It creates moans and groans in the leg conditioning track 6 and the abs track 9, shouts and screams in the fun tracks and gritted determination in the endless last power track.
I love it too but when I first heard the music I was disappointed. Due to traveling with work I just couldn’t get to a quarterly workshop and I think this release more than any proves that you have to have the “masterclass” experience rather than seeing it for the first time in your living room.
I thought, “Oh no – two songs were in the previous release of Balance, that remix of an awesome Scooter song that has been used in the warm up to BC16 is bland, and T6 is dull hip hop”. Then you do it and you realise in this release that the moves carry the music.
1) Warm Up (More/Rolling In The Deep): Good fun upbeat Upper body – nothing out of the ordinary but like the build up from combat stance only, double jab to jab cross jab – that works nicely. The lower body is fine as well – if not pretty similar to the last two. That’s three lower body warm ups in a row that have been very similar in construction – something different would next time would be nice.
2) Combat 1 (Frozen): This is the highlight of the release for me and in my opinion the best T2 since BC35. The double block gets you deep into the legs and the addition of the elbow and the roundhouse is powerful. Sound effects make the kicks even stronger – nice to see this nod to the past in the 50th. Sound effects are cheesy for some and joy for others. These are quite far back in the mix so they keep the latter happy without annoying the former. Then we have sword strikes – again with steel clashing with steel sound effects. Takes me back to BC10 and the cheesiest cool down ever – Funniculi Funnicula. The sword section raises the heart rate – this doesn’t feel like a T2 – it’s a cardio burner. The middle combo is good as well with its knees and double front kicks. Simply a cracker.
3) Power 1 (What’s Up): Simple stuff. Two separate combos that eventually merge into one heart pumping face puncher. Great uplifting song with many vocal hooks (big big hill, brotherhood, what’s going on!). Sometimes T3s blur into one – this one will be brought back.
4) Combat 2 (Let it Die): The new advancing side kick is a great addition especially in the faster section towards the end, though I understand why we need the slower demo at the start. The rest of the track feels a little “bitty”. It doesn’t seem to do much but at the end you have a sore butt so I guess it does its work subtly.
5) Power 2 (Nessaja): Continuing a trend for excellent shoulder wasting T5s – this is as relentless as it is fun. Love the block feeling to the choreography and the full on 30 second blasts. I often use the previous version of this track – a bonus warm up from BC16 – so I was delighted when my class sang along with “It must be Dave who’s on the train”. And we get the Alvin and the Chipmunks sing-a-long in the middle as well – that was missing from the BC16 version. The fact the final combo (Jab, hook upper) was the exact reverse of the choreography from the last release does mess with the head a little.
6) Combat 3 (Gimme Dat): Ouch. In my last mix I did “Not Gonna Get us” from BC18 – a T9 with squats and lunges just like here – but this goes on for three times as long. Esquiva, lunges, gingas, front kicks. This is very hard. Very good. And as Dan says will lead to lean lean legs. Hardest one to learn as well there is a great deal going on (with a bit of lopsided choreography).
7) Muay Tai (Eye of The Tiger): The cardio burn returns with a roar as the tempo goes into overdrive. The transitions are quick, cueing is difficult, but the work out is intense – especially if you manage all those running man knees. Once more we have an orgy of downward punches – which aren’t really Muay Tai moves. I know they get the heart rate sky high but I would like to see a break from these. The Tiger growls are a gift for cheese merchants like me.
8) Power 3 (You’re the feeling): Long and tough this is a major endurance test. I love the power of the body hook to the kidneys. However, when was the last time we had a T8 that didn’t finish with millions of jabs in front stance? Okay so it finishes the main workout on a blistering high – but it’s getting predictable.
9) Conditioning (Pause): This is short, sharp and savage with a great piece of music, great core strengthening moves and guaranteed deep sighs from everyone. It’s really a taster for some CXWORX isn’t it – like all conditioning tracks in Combat and Balance over the last 12 months we have been getting hints at this great new programme. People feel they have achieved something after this track. “Look at that girl she’s like, OUCH!”
10) Cool down (ISHFWILF): Good to have a heavier, rockier cool down. This creates a good musical contrast. A pretty epic way to finish.
When I look over what I have written in my review of Body Combat release 50 I notice a few niggles – but the release has gone down better than many that at first glance I might have given a better score to. What I think works here is a perfect balance. This release has a bit of everything that has made combat what it is over 50 releases. An old school T2 with fun sound effects and swords which don’t detract from the intensity; sing along but intense power tracks; a lifetime achievement award hard core leg track, the sharpest conditioning track for ages and an overall workout that can break even the fittest.
So it is a perfect celebration of 50 releases of Body Combat.
Over to You: Are you a Body Combat Instructor? What did you think of release 50? Was it the milestone class you wanted it to be? Are you a participant? Have you enjoyed number 50?